In all of God's creation, there has been one creature who stands out among all the rest. Pure as the lilies of the field, gentle as the Lamb Himself, holier than all others...Our Blessed Lady is the most beautiful, the most pure, the most humble and obedient, the most amazing and gracious woman ever to have walked the earth.
She is not only our Mother, but our most dependable and faithful companion in life, someone to whom we can go for guidance, support, comfort and love ~ that same love which She showered upon Her Divine Son, and which She showers upon all of us now.
Whenever we have any trial or hardship, poverty or sickness for example, She is there waiting for our prayer! She is the "Ladder" by which we find our way to the eternal abode.
I have never been able to understand what a Protestant says, when he protests, "You Catholics! Why do you persist in going to Her?!? She is a creature, just like we are. She has no merit of Her own! She can do nothing without Her Son...so why not go directly to Him?! That is what we do! We do not need anything or anyone else!"
OK! Let's take that at face value ~ just for a moment here...
Let us pretend that they are right, shall we?
Let us say (just for argument's sake) that She is nothing more than a creature, just like we are. O, but by the grace of God, what a creature! Such a creature that has never before been seen, nor will ever be seen again! A creature who was conceived and born without a trace of Original Sin on her lily-white soul...a creature who believed in God more than anyone had before or has since, a creature who trusted and hoped in God more than anyone had before or has since, a creature who loved and adored God more than anyone had before or has since!!!
Let us say (just for argument's sake) that She has no merit of Her own...that it is only with God's good graces that She is able to be called the Mediatrix of all Graces! Can we say the same for ourselves? Or do we go to Her to beg Her dispensation of those graces, thereby making it possible that we, too, by the good graces of that same God, are able to withstand the onslaughts of the Devil himself, that we are able to get through our day-to-day lives, nothing more to "our credit" than that we can call the Mother of God Herself "our own Mother!" And what, may I ask, did we ever do to deserve such a Mother?!? Absolutely nothing ~ nothing at all...except by the same graces (of that same God) we are so beloved that we are given to Her as a sure way to follow to our own salvation?! "To Jesus, through Mary," to quote St. Louis de Montfort...
Let us say (just for argument's sake) that She can do nothing without Her Divine Son. This is, by the way, true. None of us can do anything worthwhile without Him, can we? Even as She sits on a throne in Heaven, or kneels before the Blessed Trinity, She is always the first one to admit that without Him, She would be but a speck. And it is because of Her perfect humility and giving of Herself for our salvation that She is so close to Her Son!
Jesus Himself has said that She is perfect in Her self-abasement, and that it is for this precise reason that He places Her alongside Himself in all devotions practiced by the Church, especially in the devotions directed towards the Two Hearts...in particular, the First Friday/First Saturday devotions. It was for this reason that He requested the Double Great Novena!
And it is because of the perfect humility and purity of His Mother that we are able to even dare approach Him on the Altar! Do we think for one instant that we are worthy?!!
Jesus died and arose to save us ~ and this is all we need for our Faith, true ~ but even He would be the first One to tell us that He would not have done this in the same way if it were not for His Mother!!! And only the purest of souls would have been worthy to bear a Son such as He...
Of course, we as Catholics believe that Our Blessed Lady was taken body and soul into Heaven at Her death, or rather, at Her dormition ~ but there is also a popular belief that, after She had gone, the Apostles went into Her chamber to find that She was no longer there, but that her bed had been covered in white lilies...the traditional flower of purity and virginity.
Can anyone, especially any Protestant or other non-believer, suggest the name of any other for whom these signs were more deserved?!?